We did it!! This is the year that we started our raised bed garden! This is our first garden and it has been so much fun to put together! If you are thinking about starting a garden but maybe think you’re not great at keeping plants alive, not sure you have enough time to devote to it, or whatever other excuse you may have- I am hoping to change your mind!! Here is my guide for creating a raised bed garden for beginners!
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Step 1: Decide the dimensions of your garden
This is super important because once you know the size of your garden you can start planning what you will plant.
My number one tip for this is to make sure the dimensions are for a rectangle. You do not want to create a square because you need to be able to reach all parts of your garden when the plants are nice and tall. Our garden is 8 ft long x 4ft wide and I would not recommend going any wider than 4 ft. With the plants full grown I can barely reach to the center to pick the ripe vegetables!
Step 2: Choose the right spot in your yard
You want to choose a good spot in your yard that is both out of the way, yet gets enough sun and is easy for you to get to.
You definitely don’t want to pick a spot right in the middle of your yard, but you also don’t want a spot that is back in a corner that gets lots of shade. It is important to make sure there is plenty of room to both create your garden, and have space for you to walk all the way around it.
Step 3: Decide what you want to plant and create a garden map
Once you know your dimensions and where you are going to put your garden, the fun part begins!! Start dreaming! What do you want from your garden? Map it out, think about what you and your family will eat and enjoy.
We chose to plant tomatoes, zucchini, squash, onions, garlic, rosemary, thyme, strawberries, jalapeño, bell pepper, carrots, and cucumber. Then we decided on which of these our family likes most and planned accordingly. Some of these we just planted one plant and others we planted a couple plants!
Step 4: Get to work!
After you have decided on the size, picked a spot in your yard, and chosen what you want to plant, get busy!! Head to your local hardware store and pick up what you want to plant your garden in. We chose 2×8 wood from Lowe’s. We picked up three pieces of the 2×8 and cut one of the pieces in half to make the short ends of the garden.
We decided to dig about two inches down in our backyard in the shape of our garden. We have heard that this helps prevent weeds and grass from growing up into the raised bed. While I am not sure if that is true, we have only had a few weeds so I think it worked for us!
Once we dug our 2 inch rectangle, we set up the perimeter of our garden using the pieces of wood. When they were in the correct position, we used a drill and screws to hold them in place.
Next, we went to our local garden store and bought a truck bed full of soil. We used the soil to fill our newly constructed garden!
Step 5: Put your plan into action!
With the garden all built, it is time to get planting! The number one thing to remember when planting is the time of year. Make sure you research the correct time of year to plant each thing for your area!
We planted ours in stages based on when they needed to be in the ground. This also helped break up the work a little bit! I used these garden label stakes so I could easily remember where we planted each thing!
Step 6: Watch it grow!
Now that everything is planted, it’s time to water regularly and watch it grow! This is the most exciting part for the whole family! My kids love going to check on the garden and see what has sprouted and what is still not popping up yet.
After a few months you will be able to begin harvesting! My kids absolutely love getting to pick the fruits and vegetables, talk about how big or small they are, and carry them gently into the house to be used in a meal!
Step 7: HAVE FUN & learn along the way!
Be patient with your garden. It is a learning experience and each year you will get better and better. The best way to learn how to garden is to just do it!! You will see what works best for your family, climate, and garden size.
For example, we planted four roma tomato plants. They are doing wonderful and growing like crazy! Unfortunately, a little too crazy to the point where they are taking over other plants. So, next year we will space them out a little better, and choose a tomato variety that is considered a climber. That way we will be able to have them grow up rather than on top of all our other plants!
So, what do you think? Now that you know how to start a raised bed garden for beginners, are you going to take the leap of faith? Check back to see all the things I have been cooking up with our treasures from the garden!! In the meantime, you can check out some of our other favorite recipes here